ST. LOUIS -- Second baseman Brandon Phillips sees the future he desires with crystal clarity. Phillips doesn't just want to be with the Reds next year, but for years to come.
However, Phillips has been seeing a little red that his future remains very much up in the air. In the final guaranteed year of a four-year, $27 million contract, he has a $12 million club option for 2012 that carries a $1 million buyout. He hopes to get a multiyear extension.
"I've always said from Day 1 that this is where I want to be at," Phillips said on Friday. "I thought there might be some talks going on during the season but I haven't heard anything all year. I was very disappointed about it. It hurts bad that this is where I want to be at and I've paid blood, sweat and tears for this organization, but the only thing I can do is thank them very much for giving me a second opportunity. I can't really trip about anything that much. I came here and got my career back to where it should be going."
The 30-year-old Phillips, who was discarded by the Indians in April 2006, became one of the Reds' best trades in years when former general manager Wayne Krivsky acquired him from Cleveland for Minor League pitcher Jeff Stevens. He's batted .279 with 118 home runs over his six seasons in Cincinnati, became a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and has batted in spots ranging from cleanup hitter to his current leadoff duties. He's also played at least 150 games three times.
"I feel like since I came over here, I've been having good years every year," said Phillips, who entered Friday batting .298 with 12 homers, 73 RBIs and a .345 on-base percentage. "I feel like I've been improving every year. I've just had different roles every year. ... I've adapted to my surroundings and have tried to be the best player I can be every year. I feel like I'm having a good year. Last year was my best year since I've been here."
Under Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, the Reds have reworked the option year on Bronson Arroyo's contract and the final year of Scott Rolen's contract into extensions for both players. Last winter, a total of $151 million was spent on multiyear deals for Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto and Arroyo.
Jocketty believed there was nothing unusual about the lack of dialogue with Phillips' side about a contract.
"We don't talk about contract negotiations," Jocketty said. "I haven't had a conversation with his agent. I would think at some point between now and the next month or so, we'll probably have a conversation."
If the Reds only pick up the option on Phillips without giving him an extension, he plans on becoming a first-time free agent after the 2012 season.
"If they just pick my option up and don't extend me, I feel like that's a slap in my face," Phillips said. "If the team wants you, they will make room. They will show you they want you here, period. They did it for some of the other guys.
"If they're going to have me for just one year, I feel like they don't see me in the future."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.